“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan
Stellar teams are made, not born. The same goes for the players that make them. Take the Chicago Bulls—throughout much of the ‘90s, the Bulls pulled off a series of victories, winning 72 games in the 1995-96 season, and setting a record that lasted until the 2015-16 season (source). To call this feat of teamwork impressive is an understatement.
Outside the realm of sports, it can be similarly inspiring when individual powers unite to strengthen the whole. So when it comes to your B2B sales team, what strategies can you take on today to perform better tomorrow? More importantly, what can each contributing member do to improve team cohesion and productivity?
To create a rock star sales team, inject your current team initiatives with these three practical approaches:
Unify Your Selling Environment through Leadership
“There is no single greater influence over the success of the sales organization than how the sales leadership creates the sales culture and environment for the people who will work for them.” – Harvard Business Review (source)
Winning sales teams rarely coexist in silos; on the contrary, they share similar values, maintain consistent flows of communication, and work together to reach mutual objectives. These characteristics, however, are virtually unattainable if the sales leader fails to cultivate them in the first place.
In order to fuel a positive sales environment – one that motivates and excites star contributors – it’s imperative for sales leaders to incentivize a culture of openness and collaboration.
Sales leaders must take on the mindset of a coach, versus one of the stereotypical manager who’s known more to direct than guide. A good coach mentors in real-time and provides team members with the selling tools needed to succeed.
Similarly, an effective sales coach shares proven sales strategies to foster self-lead success.
Steve Richard, Founder & CRO at ExecVision, advises to gamify your team’s day:
- Create a friendly competition based on key performance metrics
- Encourage your team to compete against themselves and issue a throw down to one of their peers.
Align Sales Processes
The whole of the sales function runs much like a machine; this machine is at its most efficient when all of its parts are in harmony. A machine that’s chugging along using disjointed processes, misaligned workflows, and outdated information is most certainly doomed to run out of steam – fast.
In basketball, finding the open player to hit that game winning 3-pointer is a team effort, not a solo endeavor. Yes, there are few, notable exceptions (a nod to you Steph Curry fans). But for the most part, if you’re looking to grow a team of sales professionals committed to selling better, the processes you set must reflect your objectives.
So start at the beginning. Define the basics to get everyone on the same playing field:
- Define your leads: What differentiates a lead from a marketing qualified lead (MQL), a sales qualified lead (SQL), or an opportunity?
- Determine responsibilities: Determine who’s responsible for what. Inside sales, inbound, new business and so on
- Introduce your MVP’s – Marketing’s Most Valuable Players: The folks responsible for a whole lot of what matters to your sales team.
Once your team has the basics covered, move on to your CRM and marketing automation platforms. Ensure your sales reps are using the most optimal outreach strategies and enable them with the right tools to enhance their correspondence.
Instill Customer-Centric IQ
At the end of the day, we’re living in the age of the customer. Perhaps we always were. But now, more than ever, customers are inundated with more choices than our predecessors could have ever imaged. For your sales team to stand out, it’s imperative to internalize a customer centric approach to, well, everything.
Think back to what we’ve seen in basketball; players on winning teams know the strengths and weaknesses of their counterparts. Similarly, exceptional sales teams know the characteristics of their best prospects. And in our digital-first era, the only way to truly get to know your customer is through data – i.e. the prospect’s updated contact information, their current job title, and their professional history.
Possessing both the smarts and the tools to employ customer insights is what will separate your sales team from the rest. With the right data, advise your teams to build buyer personas, personalize their outreach, and have sales conversations that matter.
In the end
A great sales team is composed of great individuals. Interested in learning more about what it takes to build an incredible sales team? Look no further than ZoomInfo’s 2017 Growth Acceleration Summit where Steve Richard, Founder & CRO at ExecVision, will share his expertise. Steve’s session, “A Framework for Building a Rock Star Sales Team,” reveals new, must-know tips and tricks for getting there.
Join Steve and more than 25 other speakers at ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration Summit this year. Attendees will gain actionable insight into the future of data, as well as best practices and growth strategies for sales and marketing teams to achieve and maintain alignment. Check out the full agenda, here.
Use promo code BLOG2017 for a 10% discount.